Comparative on the Life of Fredrick Douglas and Autobiography of Malcolm X - Autobiography Essay Example

Comparative on the Life of Fredrick Douglas and Autobiography of Malcolm X

            During the times when the Black people were oppressed by the Whites, there were some people that proved to be very successful in promoting freedom and education for everyone - Comparative on the Life of Fredrick Douglas and Autobiography of Malcolm X introduction. This is especially exploited during the late 1800’s by Fredrick Douglas and once again done by Malcolm X during 1960’s. The two leaders were very influential in our nation with respect to their attempts to free and educate their fellow Black people. And since it was a high time for Black oppression, the two struggled for their education that eventually led them to freedom.


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            For Douglas, education and learning was a bitter road. For someone born a slave, he was not privileged even just to write or read. He got his first taste of education when he was sent to Baltimore to become a slave of the Aulds (McElrath2007). In Baltimore, he was tutored by his mistress–Sophia Auld—to read. When Mr. Auld discovered it, he forbade his wife to do so for fear that he would become “unmanageable, and of no value to his master” (McElrath2007). From that moment, he already knew his pathway from slavery to liberation. He realized the power of learning. Since then, he became determined to read and studied every chance that he got. In Malcolm X’s case, it was bittersweet journey to fully attain his status. Unlike Douglass, Malcolm was privileged enough to have at least reached high school. During the same years, he began to lose interest in his studies that is why, he decided to dropped out of school (Dunder2007). He later moved to New York and undertook many illegal jobs such as robbing until one day, he got caught. (Dunder2007). He used his prison years to educate himself and eventually converted into Muslim. When he got out, he joined Nation of Islam and became one of its foremost spokesperson. Both leaders became very influential figures in Black society by being distinguished educators and speakers.

            These two personalities took upon themselves a responsibility of liberating the oppressed Black people through education. In a way, they became activists; but their battle cry was different. They reiterated and fought so that everyone can have a right to education—especially the Black people. In Douglass’ case, it was a more personal case of which he tried to educate not only himself but others too. Moreover, he also became involved not just in education but also in the Black feminist movement (McElrath2007).  In Malcolm’s case, it was more of preaching his chosen religion and defending its theologies that consequently became the root of his death. He put upon his shoulder the responsibility to preach the beliefs of Nation of Islam and the whole religion as well. Both are leaders and movers in their respective fields. Douglass in the field of education and feminism whereas in Malcolm’s case, in religion.

            Malcolm X and Douglass became a powerful combination of empowering the Black society. Both succeeded in their goals and just like any struggle, they journeyed the road less travelled. Over time, they became successful and reached their goals—that is, to educate the Black society. Their actions towards liberation caused quite a stir in the Black society but in the end, they were not left by their peers. In the end, they attained their liberation and because of Malcolm X, America (and Blacks included) became aware of Islam.

            Truly, they have played a very important role in Black culture. Their influence is unparalleled that until now, our society looks back into their ideologies to serve as an inspiration for building new theories. They made their marks in their respective fields and they were not disappointed because through time, the society which they never grew tired of fighting for ultimately attained its liberation.

Works Cited:

Dunder, Jonathan. “Malcolm X Biography.”  (2007). December 9, 2007 <>.

McElrath, Jessica. “The Life of Frederick Douglass.”  (2007). December 9, 2007 <>.


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